We recently took a trip to San Antonio. I was excited about Eli getting to hang out with his aunt, uncle, and grandparents. I knew that I would hold him and play with him less while the rest of the family spoiled him with their affections. My arms enjoy the break, but my heart misses getting to have my little boy all to myself (ok, I do share with my husband every day!).
Eli is the only baby on my husband’s side of the family (so far!) so we pretty much tote him everywhere the grownups want to go. He is such a great traveler! We decided to go to a waterpark. One of the giant ones with the super long tube rides, lazy rivers, and kids play areas. We had a good time, but for the record, it is not a great place to take an 8 month old. Eli did play in the kid areas for a while, but since he can’t walk yet, he couldn’t do any exploring on his own. After about 10 minutes, he would have been just as happy to be sitting at the picnic table playing with a plastic spoon. He was too small for any of the rides so someone always had to stay with him while the rest of the group went on the fun ‘big kid’ rides.
We took turns staying with and entertaining Eli. He had fun, and even took a nap on a picnic table. At one point we all ventured out together and the rest of the group decided to go on a lazy river while I took a turn staying with Eli. I found a lounge chair close to the water, in a place where we could watch the rest of our group float by. Eli enjoyed splashing in the water for a bit, but when he was done with that, he was not a happy camper. I knew that he was probably hungry.
A little back story: Before leaving for San Antonio, I found it increasingly difficult to keep Eli satisfied by nursing him. He was eating some cereal and solids, but when it was time to nurse, he was always still hungry, and I had nothing left to give him. I started supplementing with formula, and contemplated my next move. I probably could have started some supplements, or made teas that help with milk production, but to be honest, I didn’t want to. After 8 months of nursing I was ready to be done. I wanted to pick out an outfit without having to think about how fast I can access the goods while still covering my stomach at any given moment. In my head I had always planned on nursing until Eli was 12 months old, but I took my depleting milk supply as an opportunity to phase out nursing all together. Not without a good dose of mommy guilt of course. Anyway, I started nursing him only when I felt I needed to for my own comfort and used formula for the other feedings of the day. I was surprised that I only needed to nurse him once a day and did that in the middle of the night for convenience sake. So, this is where I was when we went to San Antonio, nursing once in the middle of the night.
So, when he got fussy at the waterpark, I knew what I could do to console him. I am not usually comfortable nursing in public. It is funny, because I have no problem seeing other moms do it, in fact, I always think to myself ‘good for her!’ whenever I notice someone nursing in public. In this case, however, I got the towel, got comfortable, and was able to give Eli exactly what he wanted….and no one else could have done it for him! There may have been some eyes on us, but I didn’t notice. At that moment, it was just me, and him. He was so content after getting his fill of Mommy milk, and I was so happy to have been able to do it for him.
I have since stopped nursing completely. I even mentioned to my husband the other day that I don’t remember the last time that I did it. There was no party or anything to mark the occasion. I don’t really miss it and find that I can connect with my son even when feeding him a bottle. When I think back on the journey of nursing Eli, even with all the ups and downs, I will always remember the great experience we had at the waterpark!by